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4. Differential Association Theory
About this Lecture
In this fourth and final module, we think about differential association theory, focusing in particular on: (i) Sutherland’s 1939 proposal that people learn criminal behaviours from other people, with criminal behaviour arising from a combination of pro-criminal attitudes and learning criminal acts; (ii) Blackburn’s 1993 criticisms of the field’s research, proposing that it is not possible to know whether the learned behaviours or the associations come first, due to the correlational nature of the results; (iii) the influence of differential association theory on social learning theory.
This course, by Professor Ciarán O’Keeffe (Buckinghamshire New University), explores cognitive explanations for offending. In the first module, we think about Eysenck’s criminal personality theory, which separates personality measures into three dimensions: extraversion and introversion (E), neuroticism and stability (N), and psychoticism (P). In the second module, we think about Kohlberg’s developmental theory of moral reasoning, with a particular focus on his preconventional stage. Next, we think about cognitive distortions beyond moral reasoning, including hostile attribution theory, minimalisation, and Crick & Dodge’s social information processing model. In the fourth and final module, we think about Sunderland’s 1939 differential association theory, its criticisms, and its influence on Bandura’s social learning theory.
Ciarán O’Keeffe is associate professor at Buckinghamshire New University. He specialises in both forensic and criminal psychology, as well as parapsychology (the study of mental phenomena which are inexplicable by conventional psychology). Professor O’Keeffe’s background is in investigative psychology and now teaches across a range of forensic and criminal psychology courses. He has made numerous television and radio appearances alongside an array of celebrities.
Cite this Lecture
O'Keeffe, C. (2022, March 24). Forensic Psychology – Cognitive Explanations for Offending - Differential Association Theory [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/forensic-psychology-cognitive-explanations-for-offending/differential-association-theory
O'Keeffe, Ciarán. "Forensic Psychology – Cognitive Explanations for Offending – Differential Association Theory." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 24 Mar 2022, https://www.massolit.io/courses/forensic-psychology-cognitive-explanations-for-offending/differential-association-theory